Turning Your Nonprofit Strategy Into A Reality: The Implementation Plan

As the saying goes, "failure to plan is planning to fail."  It is critical to periodically bring your team together to take stock about what is going well, what needs to improve and to identify the direction, priorities and goals of your organization over the coming planning horizon...Equally important is a plan to put all of those great ideas into action! 

We talked a great deal in this post about the importance of being able to easily communicate (ideally on one page) your strategy to key stakeholders that include board and staff leadership, volunteers and, of course, members and other end-users. It ensures that everyone is on the same page and enables decision-makers to easily reference what they are doing against the organization's broad goals and priorities. 

Where a lot of folks struggle is in the implementation. While you may have a clear idea of where you want to go, identifying the who, the what and the by when can sometimes be a challenge. Below is just one example of a very simple implementation plan template designed to help get the ball rolling (click on the image for an enlarged version)!

Like the one-page strategic plan, a clear, concise summary of key actions, timelines, accountabilities as well as a clear identification of goals is a great way for everyone on your team to be able to see, at a glance, what needs to get accomplished in the short, medium and long-term.

Adding space for team members to update their progress toward goals means a document like this can be revisited on a regular basis at team and/or leadership meetings to help keep things moving in a forward direction.

That being said, every nonprofit is unique - what are the 'must-have' criteria in your organization's implementation plan?

Carol-Anne Moutinho is a Senior Consultant with The Portage Group, and regular contributor to the TPG Blog